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Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- Linus' "Ode to GPLv2"

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- Linus' "Ode to GPLv2"
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 14:24:34 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Alexander Terekhov <> writes:

> (Subject: An Ode to GPLv2 (was Re: GPLv3 Position Statement))


> And thus spake PJ in response:
>    "GPLv2 is not compatible with the Apache license.  It doesn't cover
>     Bitstream.  It is ambiguous about web downloads.  It allows Tivo to
>     forbid modification.  It has no patent protection clause.  It isn't
>     internationally useful everywhere, due to not matching the terms of
>     art used elsewhere.  It has no DMCA workaround or solution.  It is
>     silent about DRM."
> Exactly!
> That's why the GPLv2 is so great.  Exactly because it doesn't bother
> or talk about anything else than the very generic issue of
> "tit-for-tat".

What Linus fails to understand is that the GPL is not a philosophical
statement, but a legal document.  As a legal document, it has to
pinpoint judicially identifiable actions and regulate them.  Whatever
is not regulated, is not worth anything legally.

Warm and fuzzy does not work as a legally binding license.  One has to
spell out all areas where "tit for tat" can be undermined to a fatal

Nothing else works.

We are currently just seeing the beginning of DRM sickness.  In 10
years of time, Linus is likely to sing a different tune.  I am glad
that RMS has _foresight_ enough to cater for the problems when they
_start_ appearing.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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